|Outside the Hotel
|One of the Swimming Pools at our Hotel
|The view of Downtown Dubai from our Hotel
From our past experiences, the breakfasts at Crowne Plaza are incredible, and our location didn't let us down. After over eating we took in a little stroll around the complex, it's outdoor decks and pools overlooking Dubai Creek and Downtown Dubai. As a city lover the views are paradise. Nothing natural, only man made waterways and skyscrapers as far as the eye can see with the odd sand dune too.
After a quick visit to the Festival City Mall we took a taxi to the nearby Deira City Centre Mall which offers a vast range of US and UK retailers from Marks and Spenser, Boots to American Eagle Outfitters. We couldn't stop ourselves from shopping! Cutting the visit short (around 2 hours) we left via the Metro for The Dubai Mall.
The metro is a new addition to the city. It runs over two lines and offers three classes of travel. Women get their own class. It travels underground in the city centre, otherwise it's elevated providing interesting views of barren sand wasteland yet to be developed. Looking out you notice no one walks. Everyone gets around in air conditioned cars. It's just impossible to walk around as 1. there are no footpaths 2. there are no pedestrian crossings and 3. it's too warm. After a Metro and Bus ride we arrived at the largest shopping mall in the world (by surface area). It contains some 1,200 shops within 15 separate malls.
For your entertainment there is an amusement park, one of the worlds largest aquariums and shark tunnels, a dancing fountain, the largest of it's kind in the world and not forgetting a trip to the 124 observation deck of the world tallest building, the Buraj Kalifa. The main purpose of our visit to the Dubai Mall was our 6pm visit to the Buraj Kalifa. It's worthwhile booking in advance for cheaper and guaranteed time entry tickets to the observation deck. We timed our visit with sunset, a must really. Seeing the sun set over the Arabian Desert is a sight I'll remember for life. The have treated the glass making it safe to look at the sun, which appears as a perfect round orange ball. It's incredible stuff. There are in total 160 floors in this building, measuring 0.829km high (half a mile high).
Afterwards we attempted to visit the entire mall, but after spending 6 hours there we had to admit defeat. The mall is just too big to appreciate it all in one go. We did however manage to see the wonderful dancing fountains, the worlds largest (no surprises there) which runs every 30 minutes from 9pm outside the mall in what is called the Downtown Dubai area.
|Vinnie At the Top
|The view down to the other skyscrapers
|The view down
|The Dubai Mall Aquarium
|Vinnie in the Souk Area
|Dinner time at Vapiano
|The Burj Khalifa at night
|The Dancing Fountain